For two communities, species overlap has been defined by Smith, Solow, and Preston (1996, Biometrics 52, 1472-1477) as the probability that a randomly selected species is present in both communities given that it is present in at least one community. Species overlap can thus be used to describe the similarity of two communities. In contrast with the parametric estimator of Smith et al., we propose a nonparametric maximum likelihood estimator (NPMLE). We prove that the NPMLE is consistent and asymptotically normally distributed and show that computation of the NPMLE and its standard error is straightforward. We also compare the NPMLE and the estimator of Smith et al. for a variety of situations.